RIDDLE — Anne-Marie Holloway has such good memories of past Riddle Sawdust Jubilee celebrations, it was an easy decision for her to return as chairwoman for this year’s event.
She’s seen firsthand the good that comes from this patriotic celebration held for more than 30 years in Riddle.
“It brings our community together,” said Holloway, her second year as chairwoman for the Sawdust Jubilee Committee. “We have an amazing fireworks show that happens. Everyone in town gets together and celebrates.”
And it’s not over with yet.
In addition to booths promising food, crafts, music and fun, the Jubilee concludes today with a parade in the morning and fireworks at dusk.
On Monday, families with children in patriotic red-white-and blue costumes enjoyed a petting zoo, a spacious Bounce House, a race gravel pit and an Itty Bitty and Mr. Muscle contest.
Food vendors sold fry bread and tacos. Others sold arts and crafts, with some talented locals demonstrating their work on site.
The event did not take place in 2015 because of a lack of funds. Having attended the event since she graduated from Riddle High School in 1997, Holloway was eager to revive its former glory when she agreed to be chairwoman in 2016.
“I have always enjoyed our Sawdust Jubilee Festival. It actually used to be that the back parking lot was full of booths, and there was sawdust always on the ground, wood chips, and I just remember that from being a child, and I knew that it had to carry on,” Holloway said. “The sawdust was actually the thing that I remember so much, because we are such a timber town.”
For the past two years, event organizers decided to do away with covering the event grounds with sawdust. The reason: to provide better accessibility, Holloway said.
“For people who had wheelchairs, walkers or canes, it was really hard for them to get through,” she said.
For Myrtle Creek artist Lucretia Horton, this year’s Sawdust Jubilee was a chance to sell her colorful ornate paintings from her booth for the first time in public.
“Before I showcased adult color books, but I hadn't with my paintings. I mostly sell those online,” Horton said.
In addition to plenty of opportunities for fun, event-goers had chances to contribute to good causes.
Friends of Riddle City Library hosted a dunk tank, water balloon target game and raffle, as a way to raise money for a paid library staff, and an electronic checkout system that would connect nearby libraries in other cities.
Open Bible Christian Center fundraised by selling fry bread and water. The church is hoping to put a pitched roof on its youth center. Open Bible’s youth center currently has a temporary roof after its original was destroyed during heavy winds in April.